Get Found


Manage your listings and see how they’re performing.

Websites & Landing Pages

Get a mobile-optimized, conversion-friendly site.


Increase your traffic with keywords, technical optimizations, and more.

Social Media Marketing

Manage your social media accounts.

Scale Your Business

Search Ads

Run your campaigns across popular search engines.

Display Ads

Build awareness and grow your brand with display ads.

Video Ads

Reach more customers with video ads.

Social Ads

Increase brand engagement with social ads.

Targeted Email Marketing

Spur action and get noticed with email marketing.

Custom Promotions

Drive leads and customer acquisition with custom promotions.

Convert & Keep Customers


Engage customers immediately with our chat solutions.


Keep up with our best marketing tips, trends, and insights.

Marketing Lab

Learn the right local marketing strategies for your business.

Website Grader

Evaluate your site performance, social media presence, and more.

Educational Content

Get access to guides, webinars, and additional resources.

Industries We Serve


Build awareness and credibility, reach the right audiences, and more.


Attract new patients and build trust with your audience.

Home Services

Ensure your business gets found when people are searching for services online.



Promote your business effectively and stand out from the competition.

Professional Services

Drive leads and earn your customers’ trust with our marketing solutions.

Travel & Entertainment

Reach potential travelers with more effective digital marketing.



Generate leads and maximize results across locations.

Agencies & Partners

Get scalable solutions that will help you see results.

The LocaliQ Advantage

Learn how LocaliQ can help your business succeed.

Success Stories

These businesses seized their potential with LocaliQ.

  • Home
  • Blog
  • 11 Fast & Easy Ways to Get Free Leads (+Examples)

You don’t need a budget for marketing campaigns to generate leads for your business.

Free leads - graphic showing costs of leads

Leads from search ads can be expensive, as our search advertising benchmark report shows.

If you have one, that’s great. But there are plenty of free ways to generate leads with high potential to become customers without breaking the bank. All they’ll cost you is a bit of time and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Here are 11 ideas you can get started with today:

  1. Get free leads from search engine optimization
  2. Offer free tools or calculators
  3. Write case studies that attract free leads
  4. Generate free leads from online directories
  5. Get and stay active on social media
  6. Start an email newsletter
  7. Offer referral incentives to get leads
  8. Do cold outreach
  9. Find local leads by attending events
  10. Host workshops or other events
  11. Partner with other businesses for lead generation

1. Find free leads from search engine optimization

As you may know, search engine optimization (SEO) is typically a long game and can take months to start having an impact. However, there are ways to get quick SEO wins and start generating leads fast—namely, doing local SEO, targeting bottom-of-funnel keywords, and targeting long-tail keywords.

Doing local SEO

When you target non-location-specific keywords on your website, the pool of competition you’re up against in search results is much higher.

To illustrate, every plumbing company in the country probably uses the keyword “plumbing” on their websites, meaning it will be tough to rank in the top 10 results on Google for that keyword.

Free leads - google results for "plumbing"

In contrast, comparatively few use “plumbing services in Seattle,” so especially if your website is more trusted by Google than competing sites, you’ll have a better chance of ranking on page one of relevant search results.

Targeting bottom-of-funnel keywords

This covers the “fast” part of “get free leads fast,” since bottom-of-funnel keywords are terms searchers use when they’re nearly ready to make a purchase.

Free leads - Google results for purchase intent keyword

By using these terms, you can attract people who are already motivated to become leads and customers, and who are simply seeking a company that meets their needs.

Targeting long-tail keywords

Longtail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that reflect the specific needs and interests of potential customers. E.g., “authentic Italian restaurant in New Jersey” vs. just “Italian food.”

Free leads - Google results for purchase intent keyword

Such longer phrases tend to have lower search volumes than shorter keywords and, therefore, may be less competitive. That’s especially true if you choose long-tail keywords that are also bottom-of-funnel or local keywords. With those, you can have a good chance of appearing in relevant search results, driving traffic to your site, and converting some of that traffic into leads.

🚨 Need help finding keywords that generate traffic and leads? Here it is! Your complete guide to local keywords.

2. Offer free tools or calculators

Could you develop an online tool or calculator that addresses common problems your ideal customers have?

For example, a healthcare clinic might create a health quiz. Or for a home services business, it could be a custom quote calculator.

The master bathroom remodel calculator from home remodeling company A Co. is a great example. It’s attractive, walks site visitors through each step of using the tool, delivers custom estimates, and gives options for next steps.

Free leads - free budget offer


In any case, if you can create something similar and require users to provide their email to access it, you’ll have an eye-catching source of leads. While developing a tool like this can cost money, it’s doable for free if you have coding skills or find a free lead magnet builder that will help you create a basic version of your calculator or tool.

3. Write case studies that attract free leads

Got outstanding customer success stories? Share them (either via written case studies or case studies in video format). Proof that your products or services work can be just what potential customers need to become leads.

social media video featuring customer

As you create these case studies, intentionally highlight the ways in which your happy customer(s) are similar to the people you hope to convert into leads and, eventually, customers. Paint a picture of their shared pain points, goals, wants, and needs.

The more evident it is that what you offer works for people like them, the easier it will be for them to take the next step in engaging with your business.

4. Generate free leads from online directories

When someone searches for a relevant keyword or service on a search engine like Google or on a directory site like Yelp, you want your business to be among the first they see. After all, these searchers are often actively seeking specific products or services and are likely to be interested in yours. For you to earn that online visibility, though, you have to intentionally set up and fill out listings on directory sites.

One of the most popular is Google Business Profile since it allows your business to show up in Google’s local 3-pack and Google Maps results. But there are others like Foursquare, Manta, and Yellow Pages, as well as smaller directories specific to certain industries or locales.

Free leads - Yelp results

No matter which ones you decide to set up profiles on, make sure each listing is complete with:

  • An up-to-date business description
  • Your business name, address, and phone number
  • Your website URL
  • Any other relevant information, such as hours of operation and menus or descriptions of specific services

Ensure that this information is consistent across all of your directory listings. This will prevent confusion for potential leads and for search engines, which have the power to increase the reach of your brand (or not).

🛑 Is your directory listing lead generation ready? Use our free Listings Grader to find out.

5. Get and stay active on social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are goldmines for lead generation. Regularly posting eye-catching, high-value content and engaging with your followers’ comments and messages can give you a visibility boost. Plus, it can also build trust and spark interest in your business.

Free leads - real estate agent social post

Those benefits can be amplified if you focus on creating content that’s shareable—highly emotional, informative, entertaining, or closely linked to a top pain point or goal of your ideal customers. Each share is like a virtual introduction to potential leads who trust the recommendations of their connections.

Aim to create this kind of content consistently and, and as you see what your audience responds to best, lean more into what’s working. When it makes sense, directly encourage people to visit your website, sign up for your email list, or take other actions that will get them closer to becoming a lead. Learn more about building a lead generation website here.

6. Start an email newsletter

Email marketing can be an efficient way to generate leads and progressively build relationships with potential customers with little to no upfront investment. Collect email addresses from your website visitors or others who interact with your business in some way. Then, stay in touch by regularly sharing company updates, blog posts, or other content in a newsletter.

Free leads - screenshot of a newsletter

Email list subscribers have already demonstrated that they have an interest in your business, to some degree. So, if they get value out of your emails (i.e., you educate or entertain them), they’ll be more likely to make a purchase from you in the future.

📨 Email is one of your best bets for business growth. Get everything you need (templates, subject line ideas, and more!) in this guide to small business email marketing.

7. Offer referral incentives to get leads

People tend to trust recommendations given by family and friends; many even intentionally seek out those recommendations. So, give current customers a reason to remember your name when someone they know needs what you offer. Start a customer loyalty program and offer incentives such as freebies, discount codes, or tiered rewards that increase in value the more referrals a customer sends your way.

Free leads - Starbucks rewards program


Pro tip: Customers aren’t the only ones whom you can incentivize to refer your business. You can also reward employees with a commission or gift for each person they refer.

8. Do cold outreach

Cold outreach—promoting without having a prior connection with potential leads—gets a bad rap, and understandably so. Whether making cold calls or sending cold emails, many businesses make several mistakes, including:

  • Not narrowing their targeting to ensure they’re reaching people likely to be interested in what they offer.
  • Using generic templates and scripts that don’t clearly articulate the offer, its core benefits, and why the person on the other side of the phone or screen should care.
  • Centering their outreach on themselves and their business, rather than the recipient and their challenges or needs.

To be successful at cold outreach, you need to do the exact opposite. Instead of using the “spray and pray” approach, zero in on who your ideal customers are. (Hint: A good way to do this is by spotting demographic and psychographic patterns across your existing customer base.)

Also, research before reaching out to a potential lead so you can personalize your message to their interests, problems, and so on. Instead of giving a rehearsed, cookie-cutter spiel, be conversational. Allow the people you’re talking to express their frustrations and desires instead of assuming and respond accordingly. Show that you genuinely want to help them find the right solution, not just sweet-talk them into buying your solution.

Lastly, as a rule, use “you” far more than you use “I” or “we.” This will force you to reframe how you present your message and answer the main question anyone you reach out to will have: “Why should I care?”

9. Find local leads by attending events

Networking at events can be another great way to generate leads without spending money. You could attend:

  • Community events: Festivals, charity galas, and such can put you in close proximity to potential leads or people who could recommend you to friends and family interested in your products or services.
  • Industry conferences: You may meet people who are in the market for what you offer directly. Plus, you can connect with complementary businesses—those that offer related but not identical products or services to a similar target market—that can send leads your way. For example, the owner of a roofing company might be open to a partnership with a solar panel installation company.
  • Local business groups: Similar to industry conferences, you may meet leads directly or connect with business owners in your area who could be a source of referrals.

Free leads - Meetup screen

While in-person events usually offer the most opportunity to interact with potential leads one-on-one, you can make connections at virtual events too. For instance, there may be breakout rooms or groups you can join specifically for networking, or you may be able to chat with other attendees before or after the event.

10. Host workshops or other events

Besides just attending events, you can also host them. This will likely present you with additional opportunities to promote your business to attendees. Take workshops, for instance. You might teach a valuable skill or process to interested people and, in the end, offer a consultation or service to people who want expert help.

As another example, you could also host charity events. This could be particularly successful if you support a cause that your ideal customers are also passionate about. It will not only convince them to attend your event but also earn their respect.

11. Partner with other businesses for lead generation

Other businesses that complement yours and serve a similar audience can also be great sources of leads. Especially if you also send them leads and, specifically, if you develop a track record of sending high-quality leads with a high likelihood of becoming customers. This will give partnering businesses additional motivation to return the favor and promote your business.

Start generating more leads without spending a dime

As you can see, getting free leads for your small or local business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are plenty of things you can start doing today with no upfront cost:

  1. Get free leads from search engine optimization
  2. Offer free tools or calculators
  3. Write case studies that attract free leads
  4. Generate free leads from online directories
  5. Get and stay active on social media
  6. Start an email newsletter
  7. Offer referral incentives to get leads
  8. Do cold outreach
  9. Find local leads by attending events
  10. Host workshops or other events
  11. Partner with other businesses for lead generation

So, give some thought to which of the above may work for your business. That includes not just considering your audience but also how much you have to devote to your new lead gen strategy in the way of non-monetary resources.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the latest marketing tips and actionable insights for your business.